East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 7, No. 2, Spring 1999, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

News Note

In April-May 1998 the Russian Independent Institute of Social and National Problems and the Center of Sociological Investigation of the Russian Ministry of Public and Professional Education conducted three sociological studies exploring the religiosity of public school children in Russia.  The studies involved 1050 pupils of the sixth, eighth, and tenth grades (ages 11-17) from 210 schools in eight regions of the country. 

Religiosity of Pupils in Russian Public Schools

  Regularly participate in religious life   3.4%
  Consider themselves religious, yet do not participate in religious life   32.7%
  Do not consider themselves religious, yet interested in religion   20.1%
  No interest in religion   21.1%
  Found the question difficult to answer   22.7%

Source:  Mikhail Petrovich Mchedlov, "Majority of Russia's Population for Teaching Fundamentals of Faith to Children," Nezavisimaya gazeta, 16 December 1998.

Editor's Note:  The low level of regular participation in religious life for Russian youth (3.4 percent) parallels a comparable low level of regular participation in worship by Russian adults (1 to 7 percent) documented in other surveys.  See Mark Elliott, "What Percentage of Russians Are Practicing Christians?," East-West Church & Ministry Report 5 (Summer 1997), 5-6. The Russian Independent Institute of Social and National Problems conducted a related study of Russian youth in November-December 1997, which included a section on religion. The 64-page study, Molodezh novoy Rossii:  Kakaya ona?  Chem zhivet?  K chemu stremitsya? [Youth of a New Russia:  What are They Like?  How Do They Live?  What Do They Strive For?] is available on-line at http://www.nns.ru/analytdoc/molod.html.

News Note, East-West Church & Ministry Report 7 (Spring 1999), 15.

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1999 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664

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